Karnataka 'tossed out' as rain has final say; Hyd enter final


Thilak Naidu... Solid effort

Requiring 247 for a place in the final and beginning the day on eight without loss, Karnataka had reached 225 for nine in 78.2 overs when a combination of rain and bad light brought a halt to the proceedings at the Gurunanak College grounds.

Pragyan Ojha, who had taken five wickets in Karnataka’s stuttering run-chase, hit it lucky with the coin as his counterpart Deepak Chougule called wrong. Ojha was standing in for regular captain Arjun Yadav, who sat out the match with a sore throat.
In the final beginning at the MA Chidambaram stadium on Friday, Hyderabad will lock horns with Combined Districts, who rode on a KB Arun Karthik century to crush Assam by seven wickets. Thilak Naidu held the Karnataka innings together with a solid unbeaten 72 (166b, 8x4), but the experienced wicket-keeper was left to plough a lone furrow as apart from the in-form Amit Verma (36), no one else gave him any worthwhile support.

From 88 for four, Naidu and Verma put on 65, but the latter’s dismissal triggered another collapse as Karnataka slipped to 178 for eight when the first interruption arrived. A second ensued at 207 for eight, and immediately on resumption, Naidu lost A Mithun’s company. Naidu and KP Appanna had taken the total to within 20 runs of the target when came the final interruption.

Ojha finished with five for 67 while seamer SM Shoaib picked up three for 36 in 21 overs.

In the other semifinal, it was Districts all the way. Setting out in pursuit of Assam’s 267, they were well served by Karthik, who made a flowing 124 from 160 deliveries with five fours and four sixes. Karthik and X Thalaivan Sargunam added 60 for the first wicket, after which the former was involved in a stand of 102 for the second with R Srinivasan (31). S Suresh Kumar applied the finishing touches with 55 (55b, 3x4, 2x6).

Brief scores: At IC-GNC grounds: Hyderabad: 246 all out in 84.3 overs drew Karnataka: 225/9 in 78.2 overs (VS Thilak Naidu 72 n.o., Amit Verma 36; SM Shoaib 3-36, Pragyan Ojha 5-67). Hyderabad entered final by spin of coin.

At MA Chidambaram stadium: Assam 267 all out in 87.5 overs lt to Combined Districts: 270/3 in 65.3 overs (KB Arun Karthik 124, S Suresh Kumar 55 n.o., R Srinivasan 31, K Sriram 33).

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